|IndyCar Series on ABC|
|Also known as||IndyCar Series on ESPN|
|Genre||Auto racing telecasts|
|Presented by||Allen Bestwick|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||180 minutes or until race ends|
|Production company||ESPN on ABC|
|Original release||May 31, 1965 -|
June 3, 2018
|Related shows||IndyCar Series on NBC|
The IndyCar Series on ABC, also known as the IndyCar Series on ESPN, was the branding used for coverage of the IndyCar Series produced by ESPN, and formerly broadcast on ABC television network in the United States (through its ESPN on ABC division).
ABC first began airing races that are now part of the IndyCar Series in 1965 with that year's running of the Indianapolis 500 on its Wide World of Sports anthology series, with the network having broadcast the 500 every year until 2019.
By the late 1980s, ABC carried many of the CART PPG IndyCar World Series races that supported the Indy 500. In late 1987, Paul Page was recruited from NBC Sports to join Bobby Unser (who worked with Paul at NBC) and Sam Posey in the broadcast booth to form what remains as one of the most memorable trios in American auto racing broadcasting. Page provided enthusiasm (and popular Indy 500 intros with the theme music from Delta Force), Unser his unmistakable directness, and Posey his signature artistic and poetic perspective of the sport. In 1989 and 1990, their presentation of the Indy 500 earned the network the Sports Emmy for the year's Outstanding Live Sports Special. By then, their pit reporters were Jack Arute, Gary Gerould, and Dr. Jerry Punch. All 6 men were often on ABC's broadcasts of the International Race of Champions and of NASCAR Winston Cup.
In 1996, Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George led a group of breakaway owners in the founding of the Indy Racing League, with the 500 being its premier event. ABC added coverage of IRL races to the 500, and continued to broadcast CART Championship races through 2001. From the league's inception in 1996 through 2008, ESPN and ESPN2 also each carried several of the IndyCar Series, before losing the cable television rights to the series to Versus (now NBCSN). ABC and ESPN were IndyCar's exclusive television partners from 2000 to 2008. Despite losing the cable rights, on August 10, 2011, ESPN renewed ABC's end of its broadcast deal with the league through 2018.
Under that contract the network typically aired five races annually, though it had occasionally aired six during the season. In 2014, ABC celebrated its 50th consecutive broadcast of the Indianapolis 500.
ABC's coverage of the 2013 Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway was the first prime time broadcast for the network. At the 2017 Indianapolis 500, ABC introduced "Race Strategist" (which featured predictive analysis of race conditions) and first-person "visor cam" views from Graham Rahal and Josef Newgarden.
On March 21, 2018, NBC Sports announced that it had acquired the television rights to the IndyCar Series (after previously serving as cable rightsholder through NBCSN or CNBC for races not aired by ABC), replacing the package of races on ABC with a package of eight races on NBC, including the Indianapolis 500 (ending ABC's 54-year tenure as broadcaster of the event).
ABC's final IndyCar telecast was the second race of the Detroit Grand Prix on June 3, 2018.
Allen Bestwick was the lap-by-lap commentator while former IndyCar drivers Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever served as color commentators. Former driver Jon Beekhuis and Rick DeBruhl reported from the pits.